The Ministry of Health in partnership with Access Project are set to launch a mass de-worming campaign for the adult population in villages situated around lakes Ruhondo and Burera in the Northern Province.
According to Malick Kayumba, the Information Education Communication Coordinator in the National Tropical Disease (NTD) Control Programme, the campaign is due to take place between May 12 and 14 next month.
“The move is line with the Ministry’s fight against NTDs. The two-day de-worming operation will begin with the population around these lake areas because they have the highest number of people infected with worms,” Kayumba told The New Times.
Nationwide surveys carried out by Trac Plus recently also revealed that most of the people living around fresh water bodies where water snails and hose parasites breed, suffer from intestinal worms or bilharziasis.
“This is a parasitic disease caused by trematode worms (flukes). Such diseases are called NTDs because other diseases have more attention and funding compared to these diseases,” Dr. Michael Kramer, the Director General of TRAC-Plus, Centre for Infections and Disease Control had earlier been quoted as saying.
A statement from Access Project also indicates that this campaign will be the second round against Bilharzias which is prevalent in the two Northern Province Districts.
“About 40,000 adults from the same villages were treated in the first deworming campaign that was held in April 2008,” the statement reads in part.
In a related development of fighting NTDs, over 3 million children countrywide have been treated for intestinal worms and schistosomiasis in the last three weeks.
An estimated 3,239,000 school children were treated for intestinal worms while more than 90,000 were treated for schistosomiasis.
According to Kramer, the ministry in conjunction with its partners ensures that all people countrywide get treatment against NTDs every six months through mass drug treatment.